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Infinite Summer • View topic - Which side of 50% will you be?

Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
It is currently Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:28 pm

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Which side will you be on
I will love it 93%  93%  [ 38 ]
I will hate it 7%  7%  [ 3 ]
Total votes : 41
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 Post subject: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:26 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Shippensburg, Pa
I went to Amazon to read reviews and it really amazes me how it seems to be either you love this book or you hate it. Which side of the 50% do you feel you will be?

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Last edited by ggchamplin on Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 pm
Posts: 82
Location: Mansfield, MA
I read all the Amazon reviews before I started in January and I can tell you that if you're looking for a story without effort, that progresses smoothly and ends neatly, don't bother. It's not a casual read. There are a few sections I just don't understand, but I read them, take what I can, put a big question mark in the margin and move on. But the majority of the book is perfectly relateable to all levels of reading ability and intelligence. I assume that we're all here because we want to read Wallace's story, not because we have to. We're all going to stumble at certain points, scratch our heads, and wonder why certain passages were included. But it's great that we're all in this together, and can share our questions with each other. It will certainly help.

I think the negative reviews are from folks who didn't understand Wallace's style. (OMG, what's with the footnotes?) Personally, I LOVE every footnote, some of them are hysterical. Some reviewers didn't know what they were getting into with his insane vocabulary and never ending paragraphs and couldn't deal, or else accused him of being too pretentious and intellectual for the average reader. Don't let this stuff throw you. It's a giant novel, but so much of the way it's written reminds me of his simpler nonfiction work. You don't need a PhD to read IJ, just patience. It's well worth it. Parts will make you snort with glee, others will make you so sad you will want to go hug your loved ones, others will totally disgust you with the down and dirty realistic horrors of the world "out there". DFW didn't write this book as a light read to breeze through. He thought deep thoughts and he wanted his fellow human beings to get off their butts and start really thinking about things as well. To operate beyond the 'ole default setting, as he so eloquently put it.

I'm so glad I finally began reading it and I'm looking forward to completing it with all of you.

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"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you." DFW


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:18 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:12 am
Posts: 45
Location: London
I absolutely love it, it's the most densely entertaining book I've ever read and I'm rushing to finish so I can start again for InfSum.
I think I'm going to do it out loud with my mother in the evenings, as I read her bits she loved but she said she'd never get around to it herself.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:15 pm
Posts: 16
i can't imagine hating it. i've never met one of the haters, and i've met quite a few people who have read it... so i don't think i'll hate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:00 pm
Posts: 1
I imagine I will love it. Having read both Broom of the System and Girl with Curious Hair, I absolutely love his writing style. I have survived dense novels such as this before (Gravity's Rainbow for example) and love the confusion that you sometimes feel. The challenge of trying to understand the dense material is thrilling in a way.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:29 pm 
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Posts: 49
Location: UTAH. Yes I'm from Utah. No I'm not a Mormon.
I'm on the "love it" side, but not initially. I just finished it for the first time 5 days ago and found this site as I was looking into the book a little more closely. My first reaction was disappointment, as it just felt so unresolved. I liken it to ending Lost without explaining just what was going on with Claire and the smoke monster (knock on wood, right?). Within 5 minutes, however, I started feeling a VERY strong compulsion to start reading it again. I remember reading it thinking "What could possibly be so compelling as to make a person forsake everything else but the entertainment?" Now this is quite a hyperbolic comparison, but it's almost eerie how much I am obsessing over this book!

I'm really looking forward to another run-through. Hopefully I don't quit eating :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:24 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:29 am
Posts: 6
I am not too far, but it's just spectacular in so many different ways. One of the greatest is Wallace's ability to blend scope and precision so effortlessly. IJ seems to require an attentive and intelligent reader( it seems like one doesn't need to prepare, but just be able to discern). The point being that while IJ isn't easy-to-tear through fluff, it most certainly engages you on an emotional and cerebral level resulting in pages quickly turning.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:51 am
Posts: 43
I love it already.
I have a feeling that this is going to be one of those books that, when I've finally finished it, I will start rereading.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:36 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Korea
I think I just felt my first twinge of impatience. It was at footnote #110. But I have expected to have these moments through this, so I'm not on the other side of 50%. I will confidently say I LOVE this book.


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 Post subject: Re: Which side of 50% will you be?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:12 pm
Posts: 11
Likely neither, of the above.

But am glad to be reading it.

(People who care considerably about something, positively or negatively, are more likely to write a review. Maybe. Though that may depend.)


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